Distributors and manufacturers are dealing with a myriad of challenges in 2021 as volatility and change have accelerated after the pandemic. On the demand side, the massive shift from retail to e-commerce purchasing puts enormous pressure on omnichannel capabilities. In addition, it has accelerated volatility of customer tastes and choices. On the supply side, increasing tariffs, supply issues and a host of transportation bottlenecks are giving supply chain leaders more challenges.
Is your business booming? Congratulations! That is, unless you manage material handling and you’ve tried to order new assets to handle the onslaught of orders, and have gotten the news about long lead times.
We talk to a lot of supply chain, manufacturing and distribution execs, and we know a lot of them got to where they are by being control freaks (and we mean that in the nicest possible way). After all, when you take your job seriously, it can be hard to trust that an “outsider” will buckle down, let alone understand enough about your operations to actually improve certain things.
Today, you probably outsource many critical, but non-core parts of your operation, such as delivery vans, long-range semis, MRO products, and more. This is probably because you’ve seen the cost benefit--and you understand the added soft benefit of allowing your people to focus on your core business, instead of these ancillary enablers. After all, semi-truck experts are likely to know a heck of a lot more than employees whose job descriptions don’t even mention the word “semi-truck.”